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Tina's Weekly Wrap

20 Nov 2021 3:31 PM | Douglass MacKenzie (Administrator)

Hello Democrats! The 2021 election may be over but it’s been another busy week in state and federal politics. Things just don’t slow down, and I appreciate that our Democratic leaders are continuing to push hard to deliver big wins for our party and the people of our state. Here’s the news: 

Update On Redistricting - Since I emailed you Tuesday afternoon about the status of the Redistricting Commission and their work, there have been new developments. While the Commission did not pass maps before their Monday night deadline, on Tuesday evening they presented Congressional and legislative map proposals that were what they intended to pass. You can see those map proposals on the Commission website here. At a press conference yesterday, all four Commissioners -- both Democrats and both Republicans -- endorsed the maps. 

In addition to the Commission website, you can see their proposed maps in Dave’s Redistricting software:

CDs: https://davesredistricting.org/maps#viewmap::3e5ef4a0-0acc-4615-82d5-9867bf46aa83

LDs: https://davesredistricting.org/maps#viewmap::4d870853-f977-4de1-80d8-b28dddd77c5c

Since the Commission did not pass their maps in time, despite the hard work and dedication of our Democratic Commissioners and their staff, the jurisdiction for drawing the new district boundaries goes to the Washington Supreme Court. There is a lot we don’t know about how the Court will conduct the process. Again, the maps and process are in the hands of the Washington Supreme Court and out of the control of the caucus appointees now. 

There has been additional speculation that the maps may not reflect the required minority/majority districts required under the Voting Rights Act. I suspect this will be a focus moving forward. You can read one analysis of that issue here:

https://latino.ucla.edu/research/washington-state-redistricting/

As of this writing, the Court has asked for a sworn declaration from the non-voting Commission Chair detailing the actions and votes of both November 15th (deadline day) and November 16th (the day after). I suspect the answers will determine much of the process the Court takes - but again, that’s only speculation. Here is that order:

https://www.courts.wa.gov/content/publicUpload/Supreme%20Court%20Orders/Supreme%20Court%20Order%20No%2025700B675%20111821.pdf

We understand that the Court is putting together a website for sharing information and communicating what steps they might be taking - more on that when the site is live. 

You can read some of the news coverage of this week in redistricting here: 

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/washingtons-redistricting-failure-what-went-wrong-and-what-happens-now/

https://www.heraldnet.com/news/state-redistricting-panel-urges-high-court-to-look-at-its-maps/

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/nov/19/after-chaotic-final-meeting-monday-redistricting-c/

https://southseattleemerald.com/2021/11/17/state-supreme-court-to-draw-redistricting-lines-after-commission-misses-deadline/

The Washington State Republican Party has already sent out email blasts asking their supporters to spam the email accounts of the Supreme Court Justices with messages; I’m skeptical that this sort of thing is helpful to their “cause” and, frankly, appalled that they would do this. We still don’t know anything about what kind of process the Court is going to undertake and I would strongly encourage our local party organizations not to do anything rash and hurried that could be counterproductive. Don’t be like the Republicans are, here:

 This is obviously hugely important for the politics of our entire state. Please trust that we will keep folks updated on how to productively engage, as we did during the Commission’s process throughout this summer and fall. Let’s be thoughtful and strategic, rather than haphazardly rushing into anything. 

I want to sincerely thank our Democratic Commissioners and their staff for their hard work throughout this process, and everyone who weighed in and engaged. Kara Briggs and Ed Martinez co-chaired our Redistricting Committee; they did a tremendous job of getting folks to testify before the Commission and submit letters and emails. We had fantastic shows of public engagement at all of the Commission’s public testimony meetings. Thanks to Kara and Ed, all of the members of our state party Redistricting Committee, and to everyone who testified or wrote in. 

Build Back Better Passes The House - In tremendous news, the Build Back Better Act passed the House early this morning! This is a monumental step to once again deliver for the middle class. No thanks to a single Republican in the House, the Build Back Better Act will lower costs for working families, create good-paying jobs, and cut taxes — all without adding a cent to the debt. These investments are exactly what Americans voted for when they took to the polls to elect President Biden, and the United States Senate should move quickly to get President Biden’s Build Back Better Act across the finish line.

The Build Back Better Act will deliver for Washington by:

  • Cutting taxes for working families: This bill will extend the expanded Child Tax Credit increases of up to $300 per month, per child, and provide a tax cut of up to $1,500 for 358,300 low-wage workers in Washington.
  • Lowering health care costs: Closing the Medicaid coverage gap to help millions of Americans gain health insurance, extend the American Rescue Plan’s health insurance premium reductions for those who buy coverage on their own through 2025, and help older Americans access affordable hearing care by expanding Medicare.
  • Lowering child care & family care costs: This legislation will provide access to child care for 470,000 young children per year from families earning under 2.5 times the Washington median income, ensuring these families pay no more than 7% of their income on high-quality child care. It will also expand access to free, high-quality preschool to more than 181,000 additional 3- and 4-year-olds per year and increase the quality of preschool for children who are already enrolled.
  • Making the largest investment to combat the climate crisis in history: This bill will cut pollution, reduce energy costs, and create good-paying jobs with a transformational investment to ensure America leads the clean energy economy.

You can read more details about the BBB bill and its benefits for Washington state in our state-specific fact sheet here. Thank you so much to our Democratic members of the House of Representatives - Suzan Delbene, Rick Larsen, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith, and Marilyn Strickland - for moving this major legislation through the House!

Coordinated Campaign Kickoff Event 12/9 - We sent around a save-the-date earlier, but I wanted to get you all the details on our Coordinated Campaign Kickoff Event coming up on December 9th!

We are pleased to invite you to hear from great Democratic leaders, including our soon-to-be WA Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, a selection of our terrific 2021 Rooted to Win candidates, and more great speakers to be announced!We hope you will come together with folks from all over Washington State to get fired up and plot the course for an even more successful 2022. Here are the full details:

 

 

Thursday December 9th

4:30pm: Sponsor Reception

5:15pm: Main Event

 

RSVP Online Here

Zoom Details Provided Following RSVP

 

$50 – Silver Ticket – Admission to Main Event

$100 – Gold Ticket – Admission to Main Event and Sponsor Reception

Please join us for a celebration of victories won and victories to come! You can RSVP online here – and Joe Barden (joebarden@wa-democrats.org) can always help with questions!

Swearing-in Our New Secretary of State - Next Monday, our new Democratic Secretary of State Steve Hobbs will be sworn in, and I’m so excited to congratulate him on this appointment. Politically, it’s a huge development that no statewide Republican elected officials will remain on the West Coast. But this also is a chance to make sure that we have an SoS who’s a strong supporter of voting rights and access to the ballot - not someone who had to be pulled and dragged in that direction. I know (soon-to-be) Secretary Hobbs is going to do a wonderful job in this role. 

In an interview with Crosscut, even outgoing Republican Secretary Kim Wyman said about Hobbs, “I think he's going to be fair and make sure that he's representing everyone.”

I don’t know what Republican is going to run for this seat, but given how their party has sued over non-existent fraud, undermined faith in our elections again and again, and pushed legislation to repeal universal vote-by-mail and make it harder for people to vote, I have to imagine whoever makes it through their primary will not be a fair leader dedicated to defending democracy. It is SO IMPORTANT that we hold this seat, and it’s going to take a lot of hard work to do it. 

A Challenger for Doug Ericksen - I was happy to see our state Representative Sharon Shewmake in the 42nd Legislative District announce this morning that she’d be running against GOP Sen. Doug Ericksen this year! Ericksen is an absolutely terrible senator, known for working as a lobbyist for the Cambodian dictatorship instead of on behalf of his constituents, skipping votes to work for Donald Trump, skipping votes (again) to go to El Salvador, and taking so many free meals from oil company lobbyists that they literally had to change the law to address his behavior. He won re-election in 2018 by just 46 votes -- one of the closest legislative races in state history. This race is one to watch in 2022. 

Advocacy Committee’s Legislative Priorities Survey - It’s that time of year again! With the Washington State Legislature’s 2022 session quickly approaching, the state party Advocacy Committee is getting ready to advocate for the issues that YOU care about. Please take three minutes to fill out this survey to let the committee know what legislative priorities are important to you as they finalize our 2022 Legislative Priorities (and if you’re interested in the 2021 Priorities, they’re on our website here)! 

That’s what I’m looking at this week! I am excited to see what comes next in redistricting, and for our Rooted To Win candidates to have their victories certified as the election process comes to a formal close. I’m thrilled about the action on BBB, and I know our Senator Patty Murray will be hard at work to deliver big on this for us in the Senate. Here’s to another big week of news!

With gratitude, 

Tina Podlodowski


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